Iran’s deputy power minister warns electricity rates will skyrocket in the coming year, because the current prices can no longer be sustained.

The Mehr News Agency reports that Mohammad Behzad, the deputy power minister, said on Friday December 14 that prices must rise to four times the current rates in order to become feasible.

He added that Members of Parliament have already agreed to the increase, and the adjustments may come in two or three stages.

The Ahmadinejad administration scrapped government subsidies on energy and food staples, saying it was making the distribution of subsidies more equitable.

However, Parliament claims that the administration botched its handling of the subsidies and failed to give the industrial sector the support it needed to cushion the rise in energy costs. Parliament has heard reports that the administration’s actions have created a severe crisis in the country’s factories and manufacturing sector.